So, office life – it’s like being stranded on an island with a bunch of random people in tight clothing. Only a lot more boring. There is a feeling of being busy: answering phone calls, and shuffling papers, and going through meetings, and implementing new processes, and increasing productivity while decreasing costs. But most of the time it feels exactly like aimlessly paper shuffling with smart titles.
And then, a day comes and the following email conversation happens.
Last night, I received an email from a person holding a fairly important title. I feel this piece of information should be mentioned (he’s also from a state institution but I think I might have signed something that prevents me from going into detail on that (otherwise I totally would)). And the email was a really long thread of conversation between their employees and ours, over a span of about one month, battling something out, I could only assume because I didn’t read it. Judging from the length of it, I reflexively typed my arguably most favorite work phrase (both on the receiving and dispatching ends) ‘we’ll look into it’, and left it at that.
To which this person, being a heavy weight in the thug office life obviously, wrote to me ‘No, we really need that done, it seems to be escalating. Of course we can kick the problem upstairs and let the Bosses work it out; let me know if / when it comes to that.’
Which was tempting, letting the Bosses work it out is always a fun and unproductive process to watch, but it also tends to get messy and then nobody wins. So, I attended to the problem and confessed in an email to the sender that I initial didn’t feel like reading the whole long-ass thread, and thanked him for forcing me to do so.
To which he wrote: You don’t like Tolstoy? (that’s a Russian writer who wrote large-ass books. Referencing the long-ass email thread (I hope you don’t mind me using ass this much))
Me: I’m more of a Dostoevsky person (another Russian writer who also wrote large-ass books (and I am more of a Dostoevsky person)
Him: Pushkin should be in charge of emails! (that’s a Russian poet who wrote long-ass poems (we’re quite the literary herd (Also, he thinks I’m Russian (I’m Ukrainian))))
Me: Most definitely, at least the ones that happen between us. Too bad he’s dead
Him: Is it too late to send condolences?
Me: To Pushkin or to people in this email trail?
Him: Pushkin’s survivors which includes people in this email trail!
Me: Well played, sir 🙂
Him: Yes we certainly played this one out!
(you can guess by this one, it was not the first time)
And then we all went back to work and pretended to be adults. Key word pretended.
P.S. And below is my actual work desktop background.